A Poem by Matthew Cooperman

Occupational Justice

A sense of urgency in space for arms

Imagine reaching for apples

What is myth to a body missing

The hunger for the apple every day

Someone gets up and stumbles someone

Gets up and stumbles upon an idea

Of safety for the general populace it’s wise

To speak of stairs and reasons and meters

And laws that dictate suffering for a time

Shall be released in a new gravity

As I am lost in the pain of my hand writing

Whole stations of kindness in the cafeteria

To imagine “I am Julia you are Stan”

Our roving together to gather the savor

Daily accidents we learn again

The price for all whose body’s missing

A voice to speak its justice just this once


Matthew Cooperman is the author of, most recently, Spool, winner of the New Measure Prize (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2016), as well as the text + image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World, with Marius Lehene (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013). He is co-poetry editor of Colorado Review and teaches at Colorado State University.

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.